Dr. Sheth, How Many Poems Do You Prescribe Each Day?

by Mark Chmiel

Sometimes the world is too much with me—
The Trump world
The I-Me-Mine world
The seemingly gleaming samsara world—

But then I remember I need a dose of poems
Like the following from Ko Un’s book This Side of Time
Translated by Clare You and Richard Silberg…

The autumn leaves fall dancing.
I’ll dance my way out too
when it’s time to leave this world. 26

Do I have a love
to wash away people’s hate?
I opened an umbrella
then closed it, and
let the rain fall down on me. 27

I love August.
I love the August sun.
I remember ten billion years ago.

Ah, my body is smeared with primeval light. 52

The hungry child was crying,
and the sick child,
and the child who lost its mother.

I was crying, too, at seventy-three. 77

A thousand years ago you’re me,
and a thousand years from now you’re me.
Together you and I are listening
to the sound of night rain. 80

The stars and I are plotting a revolution
because the universe is being mismanaged. 85